Did you ever think about exactly what makes a status symbol and how status symbols reflect what is important in society. In our commercial society status can be bought. High status is achieved by rapidly spending money to buy in. How this money is acquired does not matter.

However, while high status in the above sense is too often perceived to be correlated with a high quality of life, I doubt this is really the case. By the consumer measures above, I am a failure. I earn less than $10,000 a year. I do not own a house. I live in a trailer park. I do not have a job.

Conversely …

  • I do not need to work.
  • I am not in a hurry.
  • I talk to my neighbors and we watch out for each other.
  • I can clean my home completely in less than an hour.
  • I live centrally, so I have no need for a car.
  • People ask for my advice.
  • I do not take any medications.
  • I don’t waste.
  • I don’t own superfluous stuff.
  • I pass the puck.
  • I can run for more than an hour and lift heavy stuff.

Although some of this come with a price tag, e.g. freedom from work, none of these require a constant outlay. Overall, I would say many of these make for better status symbols or measures of achievement than size of one’s car or the number of bedrooms one pays a mortgage on.